Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders

Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders

Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders

Instructional Technology Leadership Award:

Innovative Principal of the Year

Nomination Form

District Name:

Name of Nominating FCITL Member: Cristie DeVane

(must be voting member)

FCITL Member’s E-mail Address:

Phone #: (863) 647-4245 Fax #: (863) 647-4261

Superintendent’s Name: Gail McKinzie, PhD.


Name of Principal Nominee: Evelyn Hollen

Principal’s E-mail Address:

School Name: LincolnAvenueAcademy

School Address: 1330 North Lincoln Avenue, Lakeland, FL33805

School Phone #: (863) 499-2955 School Fax #: (863) 499-2959


Please provide the information that best reflects why this nominee should be selected to receive the FCITL Instructional Technology Leadership Award: Innovative Principal of the Year.

Recommended information to be highlighted:

Principal’s Background Information (number of years in current position, number of years in education, educational experience, etc.)

School Background/Demographics

School and Principal’s Instructional Technology Accomplishments: (focusing on how nominee has provided leadership to make a positive impact on student achievement using instructional technology).

All information provided needs to be limited to two pages and sent as an attachment in Word format. Completed nomination forms and digital videos are due to Gary Evans () by December 15, 2006. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.

FCITL Nominee from PolkCounty: Evelyn Hollen, Principal of LincolnAve.Academy

Under the competent and innovative leadership exemplified by Principal Evelyn Hollen, LincolnAvenueAcademy has developed and implemented a clear vision of education for the 21st century and beyond. LincolnAvenueAcademy, an urban magnet school serving a diverse population, was created to promote voluntary desegregation and serves students in grades K through 5. Currently, 40% of the students are Hispanic or African American. When Mrs. Hollen took the role of principal of this school, she had a vision of transforming the pedagogy of the school from its foundation in traditional classroom instruction to a learning environment rich in inquiry, technology and innovation. The dramatic transformation of this school occurred by making the integration of technology the focal point for the students, staff and community. Technology became a powerful tool to advance student achievement, communicate with families, serve the community and use data to focus and improve instruction. The school currently has a waiting list that is almost double the number of students enrolled at Lincoln.

This dramatic change required reorganization, first of the academic climate for staff, as technology became a powerful tool to individualize instruction. Mrs. Hollen provided clear expectations, ongoing training and support to teachers, as well as, resource management and expansion by aggressively seeking outside funds to improve access and availability of technology tools. This leadership and hard work has resulted in the implementation of a comprehensive plan for the infusion of technology. Mrs. Hollen’s vision was realized as technology improved academic performance of students, provides enrichment and remediation of academic skills, manages classroom data, creates and enhances instructional materials, is used as a tool to communicate with families, and supports community involvement. Mrs. Hollen’s leadership in the area of technology integration has brought numerous honors to LincolnAcademy. A testament to her leadership, Lincoln has been selected as the top elementary school in the nation in the area of Technology Innovation by the Intel and ScholasticSchools of Distinction. Lincoln Academy was also honored as one of the best schools in our nation by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence for the effective use of technology as a community resource.

At LincolnAvenueAcademy, the results of Mrs. Hollen’s leadership are visible in every classroom. From primary activities such as kindergarten through second grade “Our Corner of the Universe” where students use probes, digital cameras and laptops to collect and analyze data about their gardens and share the information with students around the world. Third through fifth grade students develop curriculum materials for teachers including student created websites, videos and other instructional materials to assist teachers in the integration of technology, and advanced project based learning. Technology at Lincoln is an integral part of the high academic standards and consistently high performance as measured by an array of standardized tests. Technology is not limited to the classroom; students explore one of the five outdoor biodiversity areas simulating various Florida environments. Students also have the opportunity to take a role of phosphate miner by participating in the replication of a phosphate mine. Students use technology as a tool for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data using a variety of probe-ware and digital tools. Lincoln’s curricular projects focus on international collaboration thereby opening the doors to cultural understanding and global citizenship. Digital cameras document the primary school investigations central to inquiry based learning. Intermediate students collaborate with students across the country to research, write, and develop web pages that include animation, custom graphics, and interactivity. In collaboration with students from other countries, Lincoln students have won two world wide web design (Think Quest) competitions. Students practice writing skills via online story writing projects with students from across the globe and participate in ongoing communication through e-mail and blogging. Instructional TV is brought to the class through daily news shows that allow striving students to have an opportunity to improve reading fluency through reporting on TV. As a successful alternative to traditional tutoring efforts, scripts are written to cover phonetic rules and sight words studied in the class. In addition to integrated lessons, Lincoln students have access to school-wide programs that target technology and academic skills through a variety of software and online programs such as Accelerated Reader and FCAT Explorer.

As technology became integrated in the curriculum and management of the school, Mrs. Hollen’s vision was to move beyond the boundaries of the campus and reaching the community. She accomplished this by encouraging the Lincoln family to become a technology resource. A tradition at Lincoln, the Enhancement Hour is a weekly program that allows students to experience both careers and the real world by working with professionals in the community. Lincoln students design web sites through the service learning program during the 5th grade Enhancement Hour. This program integrates core academic subjects into real work situations. Students are challenged to apply technology skills, while managing time and resources, collaborating with team members and “customers”, and meeting real life deadlines. The program has allowed small businesses in our economically depressed neighborhood access to online services and advertisement. In order to help families and community members gain access to technology skills, students, under staff supervision, teach technology skills classes before and after school free of charge. In addition, Lincoln offers fun and creative intergenerational classes such as “Family Quilt” offered before a winter break, allowing students and parents to show off their creative skills in time for the holidays by creating family web sites! Understanding that digital divide affects students even before they enter school, the Lincoln staff under Mrs. Hollen's guidance designed a “kindergarten bridge” program that brings pre-schoolers to computer lab and also provides basic computer training to young children and their pre-school teacher.

To strengthen the effectiveness of parent/school partnership, timely communication and a flow of information is key. Mrs. Hollen planned and implemented Lincoln’s comprehensive web site which allows parents to access class information, e-mail teachers and administrators, find out the latest news, sign up to become a school volunteer, contact PTA, as well as, learn about current curriculum skills and standards. Newsletters, calendars, and links to parent and student resources are available from this frequently updated web site. Parent Education Nights held in the computer lab focus on educating parents and community members about the variety of technology programs at Lincoln. Assisted by students, parents can sample curricular software and get a tour of online resources for parents.

Understanding that effective use of technology can save time and increase productivity, Mrs. Hollen systematically replaced traditional paper-pencil methods of instructional management with their digital counterparts. At Lincoln, technology is the tool for all aspects of teaching. Teachers use computer based software instead of a traditional grade book, attendance sheets and lesson planners. They use technology to locate resources, create and take students to virtual field trips, develop interactive materials and communicate with parents. In addition, to day to day needs, teachers use technology to collect, analyze, and monitor achievement data in order to target specific academic skills, differentiate instruction, and improve the academic performance of all students.

A key strategy to insure the effective implementation of the technology resides in Mrs. Hollen’s vision for on-going professional development and support. Technology training is offered on site with over 100 hours of technology training implemented in the past two years! Targeted professional development is offered monthly to individual grade levels and focuses on tools and methods of technology integration in specific classes. Technology peer coaches meet with teachers to provide feedback, model, and help plan technology rich activities. Pilot programs are created to model, train, and assist teachers in planning their own integration path. Currently two on-line, global, and completely technology integrated social studies classes serve students and teachers of 4th and 5th grade, extending the walls of traditional classroom to the world. Teachers are encouraged to seek technology professional development and provide assistance through trained “student help desk” with trained students helping with teacher web site design and maintenance, location of instructional resources, peer teaching younger students and assisting teachers in learning software applications.

The rich technology environment of LincolnAcademy would be impossible without Mrs. Hollen’s strong leadership and clear focus on innovation. Mrs. Hollen has been a dedicated educator for 24 years. As a teacher, she pioneered the inquiry based approach in her classes and developed the magnet school science and technology curriculum. As an adjunct professor at SoutheasternUniversity, she assisted future educators in implementing an interactive science and technology curriculum as well as a vision of 21st century education. As a 13 year veteran of school administration, Mrs. Hollen has served as a mentor for new principals as part of PolkCounty’s leadership forums. She has supported technology integration through involvement in a variety of focus groups and leadership projects. A member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Polk Vision, a business and educator group concerned with improvement of educational opportunities for PolkCounty students, she has advocated for the critical alignment of work related skills to school curriculum. As a chairperson and member of the Administrative Technology Task force for PolkCounty, Mrs. Hollen has paved the way for integration of technology countywide by developing and delivering a variety of technology training modules for teachers and administrators. Her efforts helped develop a countywide training and implementation plan used today to integrate technology countywide. For efforts to aggressively implement technology, Lincoln was the only school in the county to receive top honors in the Shining Star Awards. The award evaluated best practices in collaborative use of technology in classroom settings.

Technology integration is a pivotal issue for education in the 21st century and Mrs. Hollen is a leader who has shown the power of conviction, vision, and leadership. Through integration of technology, Lincoln has extended the school campus to nearby homes and the global community and is effectively educating generations of technologically literate citizens of the 21st century. Just walk on the Lincoln campus to see Mrs. Hollen’s vision at work.